Islington Choral Society is a friendly non-auditioned community choir based in Islington, north London. We enjoy the challenge of exploring our rich choral heritage in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment. We rehearse every Tuesday night during term-time at Highbury Roundhouse, 71 Ronalds Road. London N5 1XB.
We usually perform concerts 3 times a year at a range of venues including St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, St Andrew Holborn and Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square. In some years, we may also perform a Christmas carol concert and, every other year, we go on tour abroad, usually around the 1st May bank holiday, and most recently to Spain and Malta.
Our musical repertoire is varied and aims to include both the famous and some of the less well-known choral works. Recent concerts have included Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Will Todd's Mass in Blue, Rutter's Feel the Spirit, Britten’s St Nicolas and Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony. Our forthcoming repertoire is listed on our Events page.
We welcome enthusiastic singers of all ages and voice types. If you’re interested in joining the choir you can find details here.
Michael Waldron has been the Conductor and Musical Director of Islington Choral Society since 2017, directing the choir's busy schedule of rehearsals, concerts and tours. He is also founder and Artistic Director of the London Choral Sinfonia, and has worked with many of the top choirs and orchestras in the UK and beyond, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Polyphony, London Mozart Players, Holst Singers and City of London Choir. He is Artistic Director of London Lyric Opera and Musical Director of the Epworth Choir.
His debut album release with the London Choral Sinfonia, O Holy Night, was selected by the Guardian as one of their top Christmas albums. Together with the LCS, he has since embarked on a multi-album project for Orchid Classics, recording orchestral and choral music by Richard Pantcheff. The LCS' latest release is Francis Grier's Sword in the Soul, a modern telling of the Good Friday story with words by Rowan Williams, narrated by Sir Simons Callow and Samantha Bond. Their CD Colourise features a previously unrecorded cantata by Lennox Berkeley and the first recording of Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs in an original chamber orchestrations. Colourise was awarded 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine and was selected by The Times as one of their Best Albums of 2022. June sees the release of their recording of works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
Michael’s highlights this year include conducting Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at Buxton Opera Festival, Jonathan Dove’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Iford Opera and Carlos Acosta’s critically-acclaimed On Before, and a term as Acting Director of Music with the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge. His recent work has included concerts with Polyphony as part of the Swansea Festival; Britten’s St Nicolas at the Dartington International Festival; Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel for Iford Opera; workshops for the Royal Opera House; Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony with Tonbridge Philharmonic; and an all-America programme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Choir.
Michael’s operatic work has included Opera Della Luna’s critically-acclaimed production of Monckton’s The Arcadians; Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at Wilton’s Music Hall; Verdi’s La Traviata for Go Opera; and a Channel 4 film of Handel arias for London Lyric Opera
Assistant Musical Director
Ben is a freelance pianist, organist and teacher. He is Organist and Director of Music at St Mary Magdalene, Windmill Hill, where he conducts and accompanies the parish choir and is currently setting up a new youth choir. He is also the Organ Scholar at St Stephen’s, Walbrook with St Martins-in-the-Fields, where he accompanies the Choral Scholars and Chamber Choir. He has previously held posts at Worcester Cathedral and St John the Baptist, Chipping Barnet. Ben read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he held the Aliki Vatikioti Senior Organ Scholarship, the Beament Prize and the Michael Williamson Instrumental Scholarship. He was an accompanist on the Sir Arthur Bliss Lieder Scheme 2022/3, where he has coaching from Joseph Middleton and performed in masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen and Ailish Tynan. He is continuing his studies with Michael Dussek (piano) and Katelyn Emerson (organ). He recently worked as a pianist with the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and for the Rodolfus Foundation. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, he also holds a Licentiateship of Trinity College London (in piano performance). He has given recitals at St John’s and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Birmingham Cathedral among others. He recently performed Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin at the Barnes Festival, with Laurence Williams singing Bass/Baritone.
Committee and trustees
Following the Annual General Meeting, the members of the committee for 2020-21 are:
Christopher Catling, Chair
Vanessa Easley, Tour
Katie Halling, Treasurer
Christine Rose, Librarian
Frances Sawtell, Membership
The choir has 3 Trustees, 2 of whom must be committee members and one of whom must be a member of the choir not serving on the committee. Tricia George is the Member Trustee.
The Trustees from the Committee are Christopher Catling and Ruth Platt.
The Choir’s officers are:
Christopher Catling, Chairman
Ruth Pyatt, Secretary
Katie Halling, Treasurer
Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
The choir’s Constitution is available here ICS Constitution as amended at AGM March 2005 to view or download and print. (PDF file)